Local teams come together to resurrect defunct Chargers Blood Dr - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local teams come together to resurrect defunct Chargers Blood Drive

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The replacement event for the long-running but now-defunct Chargers Blood Drive was held Saturday at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center.

The San Diego Cares Blood Drive was similar in nature to the old blood drive, but less Chargers-centric than before.

Former Bolts Kellen Winslow, Kris Dielman, Ed White and Rolf Benirschke were in the house, along with ex-Padres Greg Vaughn, Chris Gomez, Steve Finley, Randy Jones and Wally Joyner.

San Diego Sockers players Ze Roberto, Anthony Medina and Edgar Aguilar joined also, keeping the San Diego sports theme strong.

In addition to giving the gift of life, donators were treated to several mini local sports history panels, including great moments of the Gulls hockey and Sockers soccer franchises, hosted by broadcaster Craig Elsten; memories from the Padres 1998 World Series team, moderated by team play-by-play man Ted Leitner; and a look back at the thrilling overtime playoff win over the Miami Dolphins, emceed by broadcaster Chris Ello.

The blood drive is designed to stock up the supply for the San Diego Blood Bank at a time when donations drop off because of the holidays.

The event's predecessor, the Chargers Blood Drive, started in 1979 when Rolf Benirschke, a popular Chargers placekicker at the time, developed ulcerative colitis and underwent two surgeries to remove his large intestine, which required about 80 pints of blood.

Team executives called the San Diego Blood Bank and asked if they could collect donations, and the next day, about 1,000 fans showed up at the stadium and donated nearly 300 pints of blood. More than 73,000 pints have been collected over the years.

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